Congress Returns to Packed Legislative Agenda
As Congress returns to Washington in the month of September, it faces a daunting set of challenges. The federal debt limit needs to be increased in order for the federal government to continue meeting its financial obligations. The federal government’s agencies need to be funded by October 1, 2017 or the government will shut down, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) needs to be reauthorized by the end of September or authority to run SCHIP will expire.
Complicating this packed legislative agenda is the need for federal funding to address the immediate and ongoing needs created by Hurricane Harvey. The O&P community will be discussing the profession’s response to this colossal storm and seek ways to assist those impacted. More to follow….
Several orthotic and prosthetic policy issues continue to be front and center for NAAOP. CMS recently signaled that it may withdraw BIPA section 427 regulations linking provider and supplier qualifications with Medicare billing privileges. While it appears that CMS has not yet made a final decision, NAAOP and its Alliance partners are working hard to ensure that CMS presses forward with final publication of regulations involving this section of the law, which was passed 17 years ago but never implemented in full.
The Interagency Workgroup on Lower Limb Prosthetics, which was convened in the wake of the draft local coverage determination (LCD) for lower limb prostheses is expected to release a consensus statement at some point in the near future. However, timing on this is still unclear. Once the Workgroup releases its statement, NAAOP will submit public comments on it.
Meanwhile, Congress continues to address O&P legislation by passing in the House legislation to recognize the relevance of prosthetists’ and orthotists’ clinical documentation as part of the patients’ medical records for purposes of determining the medical necessity of submitted claims. NAAOP is working with its Alliance partners to ensure that Congress passes this provision, along with other aspects of the Medicare O&P Improvement Act this year.
NAAOP also continues to work toward passage of the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights, H.R. 2322, which is designed to educate veterans of their rights to quality O&P care and enable them to become their own best advocate in securing such care.
Finally, NAAOP acknowledges and congratulates AOPA on its 100th Anniversary, a true milestone. We are also very proud to recognize our own 30-year anniversary as NAAOP. Our unending gratitude goes out to our members and supporters who have enabled us to speak on behalf of O&P practitioners and the patients they serve for the past three decades.